My two-year-old daughter loves Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. For those who may not be familiar with this toddler show, it is the “next generation” of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. (See Elizabeth Bird’s “deconstruction” of this aspect of the show for more enlightenment.)
First, it keeps things simple. Instead of trying to make a complicated role playing scenario for kids to “win”, Daniel Tiger’s App provides songs and simple games.
Second, it is all about familiar settings for young kids: these are things that kids love.
Third, most activities only require a simple tap or a tap and drag. While the dragging is difficult for my toddler, she does love the interaction on the device.
Finally, it teaches some things. Granted, this is an app intended to be for play. However, there are concepts my daughter learns (different instruments, toilet time, the names of doctor’s tools, and so forth). It is learning “lite” but there still is learning happening.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood App includes these interactive scenes.
A bathroom. Kids can open and close the toilet, put toilet paper in the toilet (it tells you if you have too much and encourages you to flush), and flush the toilet. Daniel’s stuffed tiger can sit on the toddler potty. Then, one can click on the sink to “wash hands” and on the toothbrush to “brush teeth.” This happens to be Strawberry’s favorite “room” in Daniel Tiger.
A musical hillside. Kids can choose what mood of music they want (happy, sad, and mad). Then they can play instruments, musical “flowers” and other things that match the mood.
A pretend doctor’s kit. This has an otoscope, a stethoscope, a tongue depressor, a light to follow, a shot, and even a sticker for good behavior. Kids can drag each item over to the “Dr.” Daniel and he responds to each item. After Strawberry had played this a while, she begged to go to the doctor with me. She’s also found a new interest in her own doctor’s kit that she got at Christmas.
A bedtime scene. Now kids can help put Daniel to sleep by following the routines so familiar to them. They can have parents say goodnight, find Daniel’s stuffed tiger, tuck him in with a blanket, close the curtains, turn off the light, and more! This is such a fun page, because there is simply so much to do on it.
A sticker book. Electronic stickers are so much fun! On this page, kids tap a “sticker” at the bottom and then tap a place on one of the scenes on the top in order to “add it” to the page. My daughter loves this. When she wants, she can take a picture (screenshot) of her sticker page or clear it off.
Most of these pages also have music that you can turn on that comes directly from the show.
See it in action!
With all of the interactive aspects of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood app, it is no wonder that my daughter begs to play it!
The only downside of this app is that it does not run well on older Android devices. It is large and so older devices run slower and crash frequently.
That is a small problem though, for such a wonderful learning app.